Major Steve Long--honoring a 9/11 fallen hero

 Major Steve Long
A Memorial Day Tribute

Also a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers joined together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person paid tribute to a single victim. I don't know how many blogs that were alive in 2006 which have since ceased to exist or have morphed into something else. As for me and my blog, we are here today to honor this fallen hero, Major Steve V. Long.

We honor the victims by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

This post you will see every year to pay tribute and honor to Army Major Steve V. Long. I pray that others will come back and post comments each year so we can learn more about this dedicated Army officer, husband and father.

On September 11th, he was at his post at the Pentagon, doing his job, and he gave his life for his country. He was 39 years old; and he was from Georgia. Maj. Long was serving as Secretary of the General Staff, Office of the Commanding General, U.S. Total Army Command. He was married with two children. I have continued my search over the years about his life and work. As time goes by, I find out a little more as his family, friends, and soldiers he worked with leave comments.

The Pentagon lists his medals and awards and military training:
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  (with Arrowhead and Oak Leaf Cluster)
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
Army Commendation Medal
  (with "V" Device and Two Oak Leaf Clusters)
Army Non-Commissioned Officers Development Medal
  (w/ Numeral "2")
Army Service Ribbon
Army Superior Unit Award
Combat Infantry Badge
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Award
National Defense Service Medal
Overseas Service Ribbon
Parachutist Badge
  (with Bronze Star)
Purple Heart
  (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Ranger Tab
Southwest Asia Service Medal
  (with Bronze Star)
Valorous Unit Award
 Major Long’s military training includes Infantry One Station Unit Training, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Jungle Warfare School, the United States Army Ranger Course, the United States Air Force Survival Training Course, the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Petroleum Officer Course.
What kind of father he was, what kind of husband has slowly come to life with each post. I found the tears of a nephew... the tears of a sister, Nancy.

His mother, Sue Weaver, said he loved planting and gardening.

I did find this tribute:
I had the honor and pleasure of serving together with Steve back in 1997. Steve was a fellow officer in the 601st Aviation Support Battalion and he served as the headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander during a rotation to Bosnia. He epitomized the word dedication and duty. He was a loved husband and father to his family and he will be forever missed. My heart and prayers go out to him, his family, and to all others affected by this tragedy. I am proud to continue my service to my country. Special thanks go to all the men and women of the armed forces, past and present, for their contribution and daily sacrifices as well to their families who know pain and uncertainty on a daily basis. Sincerely, Ron Pacheco
And I found this tribute...

I first met Steve Long when he was a Captain, and I was a Second Lieutenant in my officer basic course at Fort Lee, Virginia. He gave an introductory brief on how we newly commissioned officers could "manage" our own military careers. I got in touch with him a year later, while I was stationed in Korea, on my next assignment back in the U.S.A. As a young 23-year-old officer, trying to balance the Army with a fiance who was also in the Army, I kept changing my mind. Over the course of a year and half, I asked Steve to amend my assignment THREE TIMES and he did! Branch managers like Steve get no credit for the unglamorous HR work they do, but for me it was a sterling introduction of what "taking care of Soldiers" meant. It was an example by DOING, not just TALKING about it. Years later, when I read his name in the Pentagon losses, I was so saddened to hear that the Army had lost such a great officer. I say a prayer for him on every September 11th.Melissa
*** Posted by Melissa on 2009-09-11 ***
In the comments section of this post are other tributes...

At the link on the title of this post, you can view the Arlington Cemetery resting place of Maj. Long, and see the tribute to him listed there. I have unashamedly copied part of that tribute below...

Floating down to the Caribbean island of Grenada, Specialist Steve Long pleaded with the enemy soldiers far below who were firing alarming numbers of bullets toward him and the other Army Rangers parachuting in during the 1983 U.S.-led invasion.
"I'm really a nice guy," Long kept muttering, according to his wife, Tina. "You wouldn't be shooting at me if you knew what a nice guy I am."
Long landed unharmed, but in a follow-up raid on a Cuban military camp, several Black Hawk helicopters carrying Long and other Rangers came under fire and crashed. "His roommate and best friend was killed," said Tina Long. "It hurt him greatly."
Long was injured in the crash but continued fighting and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor and the Purple Heart.
With the encouragement of his wife and commanders, he went to college and received a commission as an officer, and he later served with the 82nd Airborne Division during the Persian Gulf War. As a personnel officer, a job he took after injuries no longer allowed him to serve in combat, Long agonized over where to assign soldiers, knowing his decisions could harm careers or break up families. "Many a night he was losing sleep on where he was sending people," Tina Long said.
But he never regretted his service. "It was just his love of his country," she said. "I know it sounds simple, but that's the way he was."

I am so very proud to be able to honor one of our country's protectors. This man stood in the gap and took a hit from the bad guys. As for me, there are not enough words to honor him and the job he was doing. My grandchildren (when I have them) will be able to grow strong and sturdy without fear because of Maj. Long and others like him. My children will be able to sleep at night. And perhaps, one day I might get to shake his hand in heaven. Thank you, Steve, and I thank all the men and women who serve our great country so we can have the gift of freedom. Freedom is costly, but it is worthy.


Teresa said...

Thanks for posting this tribute. Maj Long is from the same town as I am and went to the same high school as me, although we was older and I did not know him. But, I wish I would have had the chance to meet him.

Refreshment in Refuge said...

Teresa, I wish I could have met him, too.

EXSENO said...

What a wonderful tribute Gina, beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

Steve was my brother-in-law. His older brother, my husband Bill, and his other brother,Dave, and two sisters, Cindy and Nancy, miss him dearly. His mother,Sandra, and father,George, still are suffering grief at his passing. His wife, Tina, remarried a year ago and she gave our son, Ben, Steve's dress uniform for a keepsake. She says that this year is harder for her than she thought it would be and she wants Steve's uniform back and regrets anything of his she gave away. Of course she did not ask Ben to give anything back to her but she is having a hard time dealing with this 5th year.

I have heard a lot of stories about Steve when he was a boy. He liked to sing alot. He was into running, sports and girls in high school.

His military career lasted over 20 years. He was injured in Grananda and was awarded a purple heart. He was in the first Gulf conflict on the front lines. He was stationed in Germany for awhile. Everyone in the family was happy when he finally was stationed here in the U.S. thinking that he would now be safe. Is that not ironic?

He was buried with full honors at Arlington cemetary and awarded another purple heart. Tina has all his medals and I don't know what all they are but he has a bunch.

Thanks for your tribute Gina, I am touched.

Lorie Long

Refreshment in Refuge said...

Dear Lorie,
THANK you so much for giving me a peek into Steve's life. I have prayed for his family. I lost my dad and I know what losing someone feels like. Thank you for taking the time to share and for your kind words. I salute the whole family because without sacrifices like these, we would not be free.

Duane Scott said...

Oh, I LOVE this idea of honoring someone from 9-11. And isn't that grand that relatives stop by and give you a little more insight to who he was?

May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Steve was a fine man, and the stories I have heard about his actions on 9/11 did not surprise me. He managed his officers with a care and concern not often seen and never acknowledged. Steve understood the difficulty I was having at the 10 year point in my career and managed to get me into my assignment of choice thus enabling me to stay for a career. I owe my career to Steve. May he rest in peace, we have the watch. Bless his family and watch over them.

Refreshment in Refuge said...

Thank you so much for posting about how Steve helped you with your career.
I do wish I could have met this remarkable man.

Thank you for your service as well!

With respect, Gina Burgess